Why are the fall colors in America more intense than in most europeen countries, i.e. Germany?



I live in Germany but used to visit the US frequently. The fall colors in the US always impressed me. I mean, obviously we have fall colors in Germany too. But they don’t compare, they seem more faded.

Edit: Talking about the trees! Didn’t specify, sorry!

In: Biology

It isn’t everywhere in the U.S. The really impressive colors are in New England and the northern Midwest. It’s just a combination of climate, the degree of how forested it is, and the variety of species there. For example, the [sugar maple](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_saccharum) turns very vivid red, and it’s only native to North America.

The color of the leaves depend on a few factors. One is the type of tree. Different trees contain different chemicals, which react differently. Another big component is the weather. New England is great for “leaf peeping” as they call it because the temperature swings so much in the fall. It is not uncommon to have a 75F degree day but at night it gets down to 50F. This temperature swing activates the chemicals in the tree. The tree gets the signal to prepare for winter, so it stops pumping out chlorophyll, which is what makes the leaves green. This allows the other colors to come out, and the colder the night temperatures the better the color, as long as you don’t get frost. Since New England will get a solid month or so of these temperature swings beginning in September, the result is a brightly colored forest around early October.

I think comparing with the whole Europe is not fair either. I live in NL but I am from Spain and the colours of the trees indeed are different in both countries.

Unfortunately I can’t compare with the US because I’ve never been there but I guess it is also not fair comparing Germany with the whole US since it’s huge. I’m sure depending on the region you have different climate conditions and different vegetation which will make different colours as well

Climate and biodiversity. The majority of the U.S. is in the “sweet spot” for Autumn foliage weather, and our forests feature a *lot more* variety of species than Europe. This means our color change season is prolonged *and* we have a lot more different trees and plants to show off their unique colors.

I live in the blue ridge mountains and we’re supposed to have great colors this year. It has to do with the types of trees that are native to this area and the weather that year. Trees need to have low enough temperatures to stop making chlorophyll and reveal beautiful colors. Too late in the year or too cold or too moist or too dry and they just shrivel and fall off.

I feel you. Here in the UK autumn is grey and dull. The question has been adequately answered but I would also argue that a slight influence is the wetter weather here in this northerly part of Europe. It’s rare to see our fall foliage dry and crisp like it so often is in parts of the US.

The US has 2 brilliant fall trees not native to Europe: the sugar maple ( *Acer saccharum)* and the black gum (*Nyssa Sylvatica)* that provide gorgeous colors of red and orange that make New England so famous. The red maple (*Acer Rubrum*) also provides brilliant reds to the landscape.

The Norway maple (*Acer platanoides)* turns a lovely amber, but is not as bright. Oak trees with a few exceptions turn brown and are not as attractive. In the European cities, the London planetree (*Platanus x acerifolia)* dominates. Its leaves turn brown and papery in the fall.

I think it’s climate. New England and eastern Canada (where I live) have a Continental climate with a very pronounced summer and winter. As a side effect autumn is compressed and all the trees change at the same time. Right now it’s amazing, but in a few weeks it will be over. When I lived in the UK individual trees looked great but the colour change was spread out from September to Christmas so you never had all the trees in colour at the same time.

In Finland we have amazing fall colors on our trees so this is not North America thing only. [Here’s a finnish website which has some beautiful pictures of Finland in autumn](https://www.karjalainen.fi/uutiset/uutis-alueet/maakunta/item/117658)